Bitcoin news roundup December 31, 2016
This week’s summary of various cryptocurrency news and developments:
The IRS and DOJ want to stop Coinbase customer from interfering in its summons
After the IRS filed a “John Doe” summons targeting Coinbase in an attempt to access its user records on November 17, a battle ensued in which Coinbase is attempting to defend the privacy of its customers, while one of them, Jeffrey K. Berns, even went as far as filing a motion to block the IRS’ efforts. Now, DOJ lawyers have argued that this Coinbase customer had no legal basis to do so, and even withdrew the summons pertaining to Mr.Berns as his identity was now known. The IRS also asked a district court in California to dismiss the filing by Mr.Berns, on the grounds that it was only for unidentified Coinbase users.
Airbnb users want it to start accepting bitcoin payments
Brian Chesky, a co-founder and CEO of Airbnb, asked the community through social media what it would like to see launched in 2017 in order to take its company one step further. To Chesky’s surprise, most users wanted to see the company integrate bitcoin payments. Chesky wasn’t aware of the advantages bitcoin payment integration could bring him, but users made sure to let him know.
The entrepreneur wasn’t aware competitors like Expedia accept bitcoin payments and that a lot of users would like to use Airbnb, but didn’t because bitcoin wasn’t integrated, and some users even went as far as telling Brian Chesky they would move all of their business back to Airbnb, as soon as bitcoin payments were integrated. Soon, we may see the company accept bitcoin and help the cryptocurrency be one step closer towards mainstream adoption.
A Zimbabwean bitcoin startup has secured funds from an angel investor
BitFinance, a crypto-currency startup in Zimbabwe, has recently secured funds from angel investor Taurai Chinyamakobvu. These will reportedly be used to expand their exchange BitcoinFundi, which according to BitFinance is the leading bitcoin exchange in Africa. The exchange will be expanded by, according to the team, using the money to enhance user experience and with an investment in marketing to grow BTC/ZAR trades.
BitcoinFundi has had a steady growth since it was launched in 2014. In the beginning of the year, the trading volume as of$759, but in November it was of $31.000.
The European Union wants stricter cryptocurrency regulations
According to an amendment proposal of existing Directive (EU) 2017/849, the European Union believes bitcoin exchanges, due to the lack of strict controls, may become a potential tool for terrorist groups and organizations to transfer their money. If the proposal is approved, competent authorities will be allowed to monitor cryptocurrency exchanges’ transactions, handled by European players. Furthermore, the proposal also wishes to empower Financial Intelligence units so they’ll be able to request personal information regarding people associated with any cryptocurrency wallet on these exchanges.
OneCoin has been suspended in Italy, as it was declared a pyramid scheme
The Italian Competition authority – Autorità della Concorrenza e del Mercato – has suspended the actives of One Network Services, the company that has been promoting OneCoin in Italy, according to The CoinTelegraph. The news comes after an investigation gathered evidence that shows OneCoin attracts a large number of investors into a pyramid scheme that, in Italy, is prohibited by law. In the past, OneCoin was labeled a scam and several warnings were issued, but now it’s activities have been suspended.
Bitcoin’s total value went past $15 billion, as one bitcoin closes in on the $1.000 mark
Last week, DDW reported bitcoin’s total value blew past $14 billion, and in only one week it blew past $15 billion, according to figures from CoinMarketCap. At the time of press, one bitcoin is currently worth $954 on Bitstamp, which means one bitcoin has more than doubled in value since the beginning of the year. A geopolitical turmoil, paired with economic uncertainty were the two main contributing factors that led to bitcoin’s price surge.
There are only a few hours left until the end of the year, which means we may not see one bitcoin being worth $1.000 in 2016, but we may see it in the first few days of January, 2017.